Nancy Chawla

Can assets have a credit balance?


1 Answer

  1. This answer was edited.

    Yes, Nancy, there are few assets which show the credit balance. Those assets generally hold zero or unfavourable balance.

    Assets which have a credit balance

    In accounting perspective assets and expenses generally have a debit balance whereas liabilities, revenue and capital have a credit balance. Yet there exist a couple of assets which do have a credit balance those assets are known as contra assets.

    Contra Asset

    A contra asset is referred to an asset which generally has a zero or negative balance. Such an asset is used to offset or reduce the balance of the respective asset account with which it is paired to. Hence reducing or offsetting the amount of the respective asset account with the contra asset account gives us the net value of the respective asset.

    It acts as an asset holding credit balance. Contra assets are useful for the organization because it allows them to follow the matching principle by initially recording an expense in the contra asset account.

    Assets with a negative balance


    For Example- Max purchased an air conditioner from eBay for 4,00,000. The salvage value of air- conditioner is 30,000 and has an expected useful life of 10 years. On 31-12-yyyy, how much balance will be shown in the Accumulated Depreciation account.

    Calculation Part

    Annual Depreciation = (Value of Asset – Salvage value)/Estimated life of the asset.

    = (4,00,000 – 30,000)/10  => 37,000

     Dr                                       Accumulated Depreciation a/c                                     Cr

    Date Particulars Amount Date Particulars Amount
    31-12-yyyy By Dep. a/c 37,000
    31-12-yyyy By Dep. a/c 37,000
    31-12-yyyy By Dep. a/c 37,000
    31-12-yyyy By Dep. a/c 37,000
    Total 1,48,000

    Net Asset value = Total asset value – Accumulated Depreciation

    = 4,00,000 – 1,48,000  => 2,52,000

    Placement in the Balance Sheet

    Assets with Negative Balance

    Here in the balance sheet “Accumulated Depreciation” shows a negative balance which is a contra asset and it is deducted from the respective asset account. Hence providing us with the Net value of the asset.

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